Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor has made a little surprise for Russian public. It has published on its web-site the list of resources where it has found fake news, in other words the Russian internet watchdog has pointed by finder who disseminates fake news in Russia. But the fact is this list is very strange because the mass media have been mentioned in this list because they don’t read all comments in their accounts on social networks.
In other words, Roskomnadzor has included the Russian media resources, including business resources, because the users of social network have posted some comments, inappropriate by nature, to the news posts. The mass media don’t have opportunity to read and monitor all comments especially if the mass media published more than 100 news in a day. But Roskomnadzor does not care about. You can make any Russian mass media disseminating fake news if you simply post any inappropriate comment in their social networks.
Why media resources have been included in this list? According to internet watchdog Roskomandzor, the office of prosecutor generale has sent relevant notifications to Roskomnadzor more than twice. In other words if the office of prosecutor generale believes you disseminate fake news or any other illegal information the RKN must react promptly and properly – to clean Russian segment of internet out of inapropriate information. So, therefore the list includes groups and communities in social networks, YouTube channels.
The list is of “beta” nature. But despite the fact that “beta” means “could be erroneous”, the publication in this list could lead to very seriously santions. Certainly some major reliable mass media disliked to be included in the fake news list only because someone has published couple comments with “unreliable” information. The comments is some kind of interaction with users and readers. Certainly there could be some users who spam or make comments with purposes far from any reasonable ground.
One major business media resource has publicly replied to the publication of fake news list. First of all it has undelined the difference between registered mass media, public groups or communities and blogs. The difference is the mass media, registered under Russian law beards responsibility for writing and dissemination of fake news. If the registered mass media publishes fake news RKN should require such mass media to delete fake news. If the mass media failes to delete fake news it faces blocking by Roskomnadzor.
The mass media did not receive any requirement from RKN. The inclusion of mass media in the fake news list is reputational damage, because the mass media did not publish any fake news but was included in list only because someone have published comment in group, administered by the mass media. So it means the fake news was disseminated by third party but responsibility in the form of public declaration has been imposed on the mass media, who checked information before its publication on official web-site.